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Dane County Businesses & Individuals Pledge $19.54 Million to Change Lives


Madison, Wis. – Tens of thousands of caring Dane County businesses and individuals came together to pledge $19.54 million to change thousands of lives in our community.

“We are overjoyed at the generosity shown by Dane County,” said Dan Rashke, 2015 United Way Campaign Chair and CEO of TASC. “Local companies and donors rocked this year and, together, we will be moving families on pathways out of poverty over the next year.”

The 2015 campaign kicked off on August 18 at Days of Caring, with a record-high goal of $19.3 million. Today’s results were announced at United Way’s campaign celebration and include pledges already made and projected pledges for the rest of this year. Our campaign is still open and we encourage year-round giving. The community can give online or by mail (see below).

This campaign celebration also marked the final year of Leslie Ann Howard’s leadership. She served 34 years with United Way, including 26 years as President and CEO. United Way flourished in that time, transforming from a grant-maker to a local, community impact organization. Funds raised stay in Dane County to improve local lives with our partners in the areas of education, income and health.

“Leslie is a groundbreaking leader who has dedicated her life to changing the human condition for the better,” said Rashke. “Our community sends a heartfelt thank you to Leslie for her incredible passion and guidance.”

“I am so grateful to this community for joining together to achieve real and measurable results,” said Leslie Ann Howard, CEO of United Way of Dane County. “I am humbled by the continual commitment the community has shown to give back to their neighbors.”

Around 1,000 business leaders, local nonprofit agencies, volunteers, government leaders and other community partners came together to celebrate the collective efforts of their caring power. This year, that includes a special grant from our Campaign Chair Dan Rashke.

Dan and Patti Rashke (TASC) Family Foundation generously offered up a $350,000 matching grant to spur breakthrough funding for United Way. This innovative grant matches one-time, significant gifts which will fund United Way initiatives.

“We are so thankful to Dan and Patti’s innovative vision. We are inspired by Dan’s call to grow United Way participation and his personal outreach to leaders in our community,” said Renee Moe, President of United Way of Dane County. “The generosity from this matching grant ensures we will be changing lives in Dane County for years to come.”

The winner of the Give United Sweepstakes was announced at the event. Aaron Swenson of John Deere Financial won a custom vacation package for four to a destination of his choice plus a $1,000 TASC Cash Card. Givers were automatically entered when they made a first-time donation of at least $25 or increased their donation over last year by at least $25. The Give United Sweepstakes was made possible by TASC and Exact Sciences.

United Way would like to thank American Family Insurance for generously sponsoring this celebration at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center and TASC for bringing in local band LUBE and WJJO’s Johnny Danger and Greg Bair to perform today.

Our United Way’s 2015 campaign continues through the end of the year, so you can still give, advocate and volunteer. We invite every member of the Dane County community to participate year-round!

• Give online: UnitedWayDaneCounty.org
• Mail donations: United Way of Dane County, PO Box 7548, Madison, WI, 53707
• Volunteer today:
o UnitedWayDaneCounty.org and click on “Volunteer Now”
o Call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 to give or get help

2015 United Way Campaign Top Award Winners

Community Impact Award:
Recognizes organizations for having the largest total giving to the campaign
o American Family Insurance (Among companies with 350+ employees)
o Baker Tilly (Among companies with 100 – 349 employees)
o Christensen Associates (Among companies with 26 – 99 employees)
o Meridian Group, Inc. (Among companies with 5 – 25 employees)

Employee Engagement Award:
Recognizes organizations with the highest percentage of participation in their employee campaign
o Zimbrick, Inc. (350+ employees)
o Johnson Bank (100 – 349 employees)
o Oregon Community Bank
(26 – 99 employees)
o East Madison Community Center (5-25 employees)
Red Feather Award:
Recognizes organizations that have the largest dollar increases in their employee campaigns
o TASC (350+ employees)
o Hy Cite Corporation (100 – 349 employees)
o Bank of Sun Prairie (26 – 99 employees)
o Buttonwood Partners, Inc. (5 – 25 employees)
Community Growth Award:
Recognizes organizations that have the largest percent increase in the number of new donors
o Exact Sciences (350+ employees)
o DuPont (100 – 349 employees)
o Edgewood High School (26 – 99 employees)
o Literacy Network (5 – 25 employees)

United Way of Dane County Foundation Grants $10,000 to Local Construction/Manufacturing Nonprofit, WRTP/BIG STEP


Madison, Wis. – United Way of Dane County Foundation is proud to announce a $10,000 grant to Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP)/Building Industry Group Skilled Trade Employment Program (BIG STEP) today. On behalf of the Foundation, our Loaned Executives presented the donation to WRTP/BIG STEP.
WRTP/BIG STEP is a non-profit organization that helps the private sector develop a diverse workforce. They focus on construction, manufacturing and emerging sectors to connect job seekers with careers that provide a family-sustaining wage. WRTP/BIG STEP recently began a pilot program in Madison, after beginning in Milwaukee in the nineties.
A group of 32 Loaned Executives recommended WRTP/BIG STEP to United Way Foundation for this $10,000 grant. Loaned Executives join United Way for the duration of our campaign to raise funds that will change Dane County lives in the areas of education, income and health. The group made this recommendation during their intensive training.
Since 1994, Loaned Executives have made funding recommendations for United Way Foundation grants as part of their training. Since then, the total amount awarded by the LE Classes to nonprofits for one-time special requests now exceeds $220,000. For the first time, the Loaned Executives decided to invest the full $10,000 grant in one organization, WRTP/BIG STEP. The decision was endorsed by the Foundation Board of Trustees and approved by the United Way Board of Directors.
The Loaned Executives pointed to WRTP/BIG STEP’s service to families in the Darbo/Washington neighborhood, training for construction jobs, and its pilot program in Madison as the reasons for the recommendation. Last year, WRTP/BIG STEP served 2,990 individuals throughout their program. They trained 1,095 people and connected 766 to employment, with wages averaging $15.36/hour. To learn more, please visit http://www.wrtp.org.

About United Way of Dane County Foundation
The United Way Foundation exists to support United Way’s mission of improving lives and strengthening Dane County. The Foundation provides a long-term base of support and the flexibility to strengthen our community as it changes. Through the Foundation, individuals and families can leave a lasting legacy of caring.

About United Way of Dane County
United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change – six goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Income and Health – that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.